It was a normal, boring night, driving home from my night shift at the factory. Bleary-eyed, and half asleep I drove home, unable to wait for that moment when I would get home, crawl into bed next to my wife, and for that moment when my head to hit the pillow, and I would drift off to sleep. It had been a rather uneventful night at work, where I, again, just kinda went through the motions. To pass the time on my 45-minute drive home, I would usually turn on the radio, and listen to some music. This night was no different, except for the fact that I had trouble finding a good station. There were plenty of channels to listen to, that usually played a vast array of music that I enjoyed, but they were seemingly all at commercial, selling life insurance, roofing services, and medication I didn’t need. I was starting to lose hope, figuring that this may end up being a pretty silent ride home. Then, I came upon a rather peculiar AM radio station; AM 1060. Strange, I thought, that in all my years of driving home late at night, perusing the radio for some tunes, I had never come across this particular radio station, or even heard of it, for that matter. It didn’t start off being all that unusual. In fact, it started off with some pretty solid classic rock, Led Zeppelin, to be exact. The station was kinda grainy, but not unbearably so. After Kashmir finished, a DJ, who didn’t identify himself, brought on a guest to talk about several current events. Now, talk radio isn’t really my first choice for radio programming, but whatever, I thought, there really isn’t much of anything else on, and after they’re done talking, it’ll be back to the rock, right? Well, this night would prove to be the first of many nights in which I had a strange encounter with AM 1060. After about 15 minutes of mostly unengaging talk about politics, the broadcast was interrupted by a set of three short beeps, followed by a couple of seconds of static, then, seemingly out of nowhere, a monotone voice began to read off names, and dates.
John Telfair, born November 14th, 1953, date missing, January 9th, 1992.
That was weird, I thought. What is the purpose of this?
Joanne Wilkerson, born March 11th, 1937, date missing, August 2nd, 2001.
Who are these people?
Jerome Caster, born December 3rd, 1984, date missing, September 6th, 1999.
After the third incongruous missing persons report, there was again a low rumble of static, followed by those three beeps, then it went back to normal. After that, I just turned the radio off, and drove the rest of the way home in silence. I just couldn’t shake what had happened. It had to be some type of mistake, right? Some type of radio interference? Or maybe just some elaborate prank. I don’t know. If it was a prank, though, who were they attempting to prank at 5:37 in the morning?
The next day at work, the previous night’s events were still very fresh in my mind. I decided to ask my coworkers if they had ever heard of AM 1060. They said that they hadn’t, and that they mostly kept to FM stations. They then chided me for being an old-timer, whilst reassuring me that they all lived in the present. Whatever, I thought, it was probably nothing anyway.
Five o’clock rolled around quickly that night. I clocked out, hopped in my truck, and began to drive home. I listened to my regular rotation of rock radio stations that night. Rocked out to some good songs, even heard some Mott the Hoople, haven’t heard them in a while. However, my curiosity got the better of me, and I went searching for AM 1060. So, I flipped over to the AM stations, and tried to find it, but, for some reason I couldn’t. I went through several times, but to no avail. I found AM 1040, which was pretty much just static, and AM 2000, which turned out to be a country music station, but no AM 1060. I scanned all the radio stations four times over, but still nothing. Oh well, I thought, I switched back to the FM stations, and rocked out the rest of the way home, not thinking too much else about it. Just a fluke, I figured.
Later on, that day, I asked my wife if she had come across the mysterious radio station. She just gave me a confused look, and understandably so, since, in our 20 plus years of marriage I had never just asked her about an AM radio station out of the blue, like that. She inquired as to why I asked. I played it off with some coy response about how it played some of the music that she liked. She shrugged it off, and thanked me for the suggestion.
It was about a week before I had my second encounter with AM 1060. Just like last time I was driving home from work, in the wee hours of the morning, and searching for a radio station to listen to. I couldn’t seem to find much of anything I wanted to listen to. So, while sifting through radio stations I stumbled upon it again, in the middle of its spiel. I heard the same nearly robotic voice rattling off names, and dates.
Armando Gonzalez, born July 18th, 1982, date missing, April 23rd, 2013.
Why are these being broadcast? Is it in an effort to find these people? If so, don’t we need a little more information than that?
Van Davis, born February 4th, 1911, date missing, October 13th, 1945.
1945? What are the odds that that person is even still alive? Is that person honestly still being searched for?
Sofia Andujar, born January 1st, 1995, date missing, January 1st, 2013.
Maria Devereux-Cain, born June 29th, 1963, date missing, November 28th, 2007.
Right after the last date was mentioned, the radio station crackled back into its regular broadcast. It sounded like the same DJ as last time, talking to a guest, this time about recent economic issues. I have to say, when it’s not rattling off names, birthdates, and the dates people went missing, it’s actually a pretty boring station.
When I woke up from my after-work nap, around 10:00 AM, I decided to try out my amateur sleuthing skills. I went and got my wife’s laptop, opened it up, and began googling the names that I heard on the radio. First, I looked up AM 1060. To my surprise, they had a website. I clicked on the link, and after a bit longer than usual, a 404 error message displayed, figures. I tried refreshing the page several times, not sure what good I thought that was going to do. I quickly gave up on that venture and went on to googling the names. The first name I typed into the search engine was Maria Devereux-Cain, and sure enough, there she was. She was in fact born in June of 1963, and last seen in November of 2007, in Helena, Montana. Helena, Montana? That’s nowhere near here. What are the odds that someone who went missing in Montana is all the way down here? Do they honestly think someone down this way has details about her whereabouts? I have so many questions.
Next, I looked up John Telfair. Again, the information I had about him was in fact accurate, but he too was from an area that I would assume was well outside the range of AM 1060. Seriously, what is this?
After looking over their stories, as well as several others, I compiled some information on them, and realized that all of these missing persons cases were from places that weren’t particularly close by, with the exception of one guy, who disappeared from a few towns over. I also noticed a certain, and very interesting synchronicity in these cases. All of them disappeared while driving, even Jerome Caster, who wasn’t even old enough to have a driver’s license at the time of his disappearance, and there last known whereabouts were usually places they frequented. Places such as their home or work. So, they were just going about their normal daily lives, then vanished without a trace. Were they all going somewhere? Or worse yet, were they all running from something?
My wife then entered the kitchen, where I was sat, doing my research. She asked me what I was doing, seeing that I had several tabs open, and was looking up old articles. I came up with some excuse about being interested in true crime and having heard about some missing persons cases that were exceptionally enthralling. She then pointed to one of my tabs and asked why it was open. Stupid me, forgot to close out of the website for AM 1060. I told her that I had been listening to it on the way home, and heard about some contest they were having, in which the winner would get two free tickets to see Lady Gaga, and that I was trying to win them for us. She thanked me, gave me a kiss on the cheek, then headed out the door, to go to work.
It would be nearly a month and a half before I came across AM 1060 again. To be honest, I had nearly forgotten about it altogether. This time, however, was different from the previous two occasions in that I wasn’t on my way home from work this time, rather, I had just left my house, on my way to a camping trip, with a couple of my old high school buddies.
Sheila Gaston, I heard the voice over the radio say, born September 12th, 1970, date missing, February 29th, 2004.
George Wellingsworth, born unknown, 1604, date missing, unknown 1655.
What? They kept records of that kind of thing back then? Also, there is no chance that that guy is still alive.
Jeffrey Morris Jr., born August 21st, 1993, date missing, May 27th, 2031.
Hold on. 2031? That hasn’t happened yet. Did the person just misspeak? Was it a typo? Or does this station predict the future now, too? At this point I would believe just about anything.
Once at our campsite, my friends and I had a relatively normal weekend. We fished, drank, and sat around talking about your standard fair of guy stuff, ya know, women, sports, that kind of thing, but I just couldn’t stop thinking about this whole thing with that radio station. So finally, after several beers, I asked if any of my friends had heard of AM 1060. Greg said that he thought he may have seen a billboard for it off the highway, once. Other than that minor contribution, nothing else was said about it that night, and I let it be.
The following morning, however, was a different story. While on a hike through the woods, my friend Terry took me aside, and asked me what I knew about AM 1060. I told him that it was a classic rock station that I liked, that occasionally had some interesting talk segments. He looked at me with a raised eyebrow, and an overall suspicious look on his face. I could tell he didn’t believe me fully. When he spoke again, he told me that he thought he was familiar with the radio station, but not because it played good music, but more so because a former coworker of his used to be really obsessed with the station, which he found odd, because he could never find it on the radio in his car. I thought, no big deal, I can’t always find it, myself. I asked him what happened to his coworker. He said he didn’t know, and that the guy just kinda stopped showing up for work. That certainly made me think. I sure hoped I wouldn’t end up like that. Terry then voiced his concern that he believed something nefarious was at play. I told him not to worry, and that everything would be okay, I wasn’t that into the station, I just liked their assortment of classic rock songs, was all. Terry then brought something else to my attention. Which was that while he thought it was anything but abnormal to like a radio station that played the type of music you like, his former coworker claimed to really like its selection of old-school hip-hop, not rock. I just figured that maybe the station used to play hip-hop, and left well enough alone. I mean, a radio station changing up its programming from one type of music to another over the course of time is anything but unheard of. He then went on to explain that from the time he first mentioned the station, his coworker started to become more and more disorderly, and uncouth. I assured him that I was in no way acting out of character, and that there was nothing to worry about. This seemed to deescalate the conversation to a good stopping point, and that was the last we talked about it, that trip. The rest of the trip went off without a hitch, but I could tell something was deeply bothering Terry.
When I got home from my camping trip, three days later, I went straight to researching the names I had recently heard. I found out that all of them went missing in the exact same manner as the previous people, except for George Wellingsworth, who went missing well before cars were invented. However, the research I did on him turned out to be one of the most fruitful yet. It was tough, as you could imagine, to dig up information on someone who lived so long ago, but what I learned about him, really stuck with me. Firstly, he was an Englishman. Secondly, that he was viewed as something of a social pariah. Apparently, he was seen as the town nuisance. Allegedly, he heard noises in his head, that he described as being a “fuzzy ruckus.” One night, after having yet another one of his episodes, he gathered up some of his belongings, put them into a stagecoach, and set off into the night, never to be seen, or heard from again.
How weird is that? That even though he lived well before the invention of the automobile, or the radio, for that matter, his story was strangely congruent to all of the other people mentioned on AM 1060, just his was the 17th century version.
Just then my wife came downstairs in a hurry, as she was late for work, she saw me sitting on the couch, using her laptop, again. She half-jokingly asked me if I was trying to win her more tickets, I sheepishly said that I was, having forgotten that that was the lie I was going with to explain my sudden, and strange change of habits. What happened next, however, left me very confused. Right before she left, she told me that she had listened to AM 1060 on her way home from work the previous day. Fearing the worst, I readied a cockamamie explanation as to why all she heard was either static, talk radio, rock music, or worse yet, missing persons reports, before she said that I was right, and that it did have a pretty good selection of pop, and R&B music. That confused me further. I had never heard any pop, or R&B on that station. I get that the station is by nature rather anomalistic, but this threw me for a loop. Is the station different things to different people?
The following night I was driving home from work, when I turned on the radio. I flipped over to AM 1060, only to hear complete and utter silence. This is new, I thought. As I was about to change the radio station, I got a call. I answered the phone, and it was Terry. No idea why he was calling me this early, but whatever. We chatted for a couple of minutes, talking about this and that. When almost as if he had telekinetic powers, he asked if I was currently listening to AM 1060. I lied and said that I wasn’t. Although, there was nothing currently playing on that channel, so I guess it wasn’t a total lie. He said he was just making sure, and laid his theory on me that the radio station was pure evil, or something to that effect. I laughed, because while I found the station intriguing at best, and somewhat perturbing at worst, I doubted it was run by the devil. The topic quickly changed to that of work. Apparently, another person from Terry’s work quit that week. Right after telling me that, a sudden urge came over me. I asked him what the name of his coworker who had become enraptured by AM 1060 was. He said that his coworker went by the name Manny, but that his real name was Armando, Armando Gonzalez. I quickly found an excuse to end the call with Terry, spinning some story about pulling into a drive-thru, to grab a bite to eat before I got home. I assured him I would call him later, and we hung up, and almost like clockwork, the second I hung up, music began to fade in over the radio.
This time started off innocently enough. Beginning with a song, that song being “My Favorite Waste of Time,” by Owen Paul. I chuckled to myself. How apropos, I thought. Since this radio station truly had become something of my favorite waste of time, these past couple of months. As the song petered out, static faded in, and then came the three beeps.
“Here we go again.” I said aloud.
Then came something I definitely was not expecting. Something that made my blood run ice cold.
James Ager, born April 10th, 1961, date missing, August 17th, 2016.
That’s my name, and birthdate, and today is August 17th, 2016.
Credit : Steven Allen
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